OSCE/ODIHR experts discuss electoral recommendations in Mongolia


A team of election experts from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) presented the final report of the ODIHR limited election observation mission for the two-round presidential election in Mongolia, on 26 June and 7 July 2017, during a visit to Ulaanbaatar on 16 and 17 January 2018.

The report’s findings and recommendations were discussed with representatives of state authorities, including the election administration, the parliamentary working group on the election law and the media regulatory authority, as well as civil society representatives. Discussions focused on specific steps that can be taken to follow up on ODIHR recommendations.

ODIHR experts and the authorities discussed the need for a comprehensive review of the legal framework for elections to address existing gaps and to empower relevant institutions with effective oversight powers and clear jurisdiction on activities throughout the electoral process. Particular emphasis was given to granting the General Election Commission broader authority to issue regulations and provide additional guidance to lower-level commissions.

Other recommendations discussed were to introduce well-defined and transparent criteria for the appointment of lower-level election officials and to broaden reporting requirements for campaign finance.

“The window between elections in Mongolia is open and we encouragingly look to the authorities for initiatives to enhance the conduct of democratic elections,” said Steven Martin, Senior Adviser of the ODIHR Elections Department. “A meaningful and inclusive review of electoral legislation could further strengthen confidence in the institutions responsible for elections and serve as an example of good practice in the OSCE region. ODIHR is ready to support these efforts.”

The expert team also discussed recommendations related to lifting undue restrictions on the right to stand for office, including the prohibition of candidates who are independent or from non-parliamentary parties. They drew attention to the need to enhance the media’s coverage of elections and improve the process for addressing complaints and appeals.

The discussions also covered possible next steps for co-operation between the authorities and ODIHR, including through the provision of expert opinions on future legal amendments and support to Mongolia’s initiative of establishing a regional training centre for election observation.

The follow-up visit followed an official invitation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. All OSCE participating States have committed themselves to following up on ODIHR's election assessments and recommendations.

Source: Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe